Though the term ‘digital marketing’ is hardly anything new, there is still much confusion as to what it actually means. For the uninitiated, digital marketing simply means using websites, mobile apps, e-mail or social media to market to stakeholders via computers, smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices. Now synonymous with online marketing, digital marketing has become an effective way to reach even larger audiences and is now used in some form by nearly all business organizations. While a few results may be seen by utilizing one or two digital marketing avenues, here’s a closer look at the top six techniques and how together, they can improve your overall strategy and lead to the most effective return on your investment.
Okay, so this one is clearly a no brainer. According to recent studies of online marketing, 90% of lead conversions that happen on websites are affected by visual factors. This means that a website is your number one digital calling card and without a solid web presence that is both polished and professional, nobody is going to take you (or your business) seriously. Beyond that, websites are not meant to just sit and look pretty like lawn ornaments. That’s why it is ultra important to stay up to date on the latest innovations, tactics and policies in this ever-changing industry so that you can not only adapt and continually sharpen your strategy, but also stay ahead of the curve.
Yes, we know. You have a super clever friend who is really good with one-liners. You may also consider yourself to be a fairly gifted wordsmith and literary aficionado because you once made it through the entire Harry Potter series. However, writing and creating content that adheres to style and grammar rules while maintaining a common theme and overall narrative that isn’t gimmicky or overly obnoxious in its marketing while still being engaging enough to make people notice your product requires both a real skill set and a lot of practice. That was a mouthful, but seriously, to be successful in your copywriting and content creation, you need a skilled professional who can write content quickly and consistently that will also drive your business’s overall message and goals.
As mentioned above about the important of quality content, SEO is another element that can take your digital marketing strategy and take it through the roof, but first you must understand what makes SEO successful. As marketers, we can help drive traffic to your site with the help of search engines like Google by carefully choosing keyword phrases and peppering them throughout your content. This will in turn help rank your business highly in search results. Sounds easy, right? Well, this is not enough though. If someone talks a big game about rankings or keywords, run the other way. You’ll waste both time and money. SEO is about trust and in order to gain trust, you have to put out content that matters. Being the first search result on page one of Google won’t mean a thing if someone comes to your page and there is generic content that doesn’t tell you anything. This also won’t help anyone link back to your site because while you bought your way into a high rank with gimmicks and tricks, you won’t convert any leads and that is what SEO is truly about—positioning your business right in the path of targeted consumers who will trust you enough to choose you.
Another very important aspect of digital marketing is measurement. It isn’t enough to make just make any old effort; you should know how well that effort is working. Through the use of analytics, digital marketers can assess who visits your site, how it is accessed, what they are viewing the most and how long they stayed on your pages. It will also tell exactly how well your latest content or campaign is fairing with users online. By understanding how well your efforts are doing through analytics, marketers are able to measure the effectiveness of both you and your content and make changes if necessary to make sure you stay on top of your game.
When it comes to social media, businesses should weigh the pros and cons of each networking site and choose only the ones that will most benefit their business. For example, many young people today use Twitter, Instagram or Vine as their primary social networks. To reach a more established audience, Facebook may be the way to go while if you are marketing to other businesses or professionals creating content for LinkedIn may be the way to go. Depending on what your key demographic is and what kind of ways you plan to deliver your content, getting positive results on social media will take an adequate amount of analysis and planning.
Where would your business be if you didn’t advertise? For many, the answer is nowhere. Chances are there are more people in this world who do not know about your business than those who actually use your products and services. This is why allotting some of your budget for advertising will usually net you great returns. Thanks to digital marketing, advertising is now more effective and cost efficient than ever. Back in the old days when print and television ads were the only methods around, it could take some time before you knew exactly how well your investment paid off. Today, digital marketers can network ad programs such as buying ads on Facebook or using promoted tweets and because of the mobile nature of digital marketing; your ads can be seen by thousands of users on the go. Advertising efforts in the digital age are not only simpler and easier to measure, they are also infinitely more effective at helping to increase a brand’s visibility to all types of users.